The draw for the 2015 FIFA Women World Cup have handed the Super Falcons a tough group, where they have been paired with the USA, Sweden and Australia in group D.
The Super Falcons returned to winning ways at the 2014 African Women Championship in Namibia where they won all their games to clinch the trophy for the seventh time after two years of relinquishing their strangle hold on the African continent. But the draw yesterday, suggested that they will have to do better than that to make an impact at the World Cup starting June 6 2015 in Canada.
The other African representatives Cote’d Ivoire have Germany, Norway and Thailand, while Cameroon will contend with Japan, Switzerland and Ecuador. Certainly, any follower of women football will conclude that the African teams have work to do.
Host country Canada, a rising force in women football will play China in the opening match on 6 June, before taking on New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Reigning champions, Japan will kick off their World Cupdefence in Vancouver, as will section rivals Switzerland, Cameroon and Ecuador. United States and Germany, who have both previously lifted the trophy twice, will be regarded as favourites to win Groups D and B respectively, although the Americans/Europeans will likely be wary of the threat posed by dark horses Sweden and Norway. France, serious challengers for the title, will first need to negotiate duels with England, Colombia and Mexico in a group that will be based in Moncton.
Of all the draw, the hardest one to predict appears to be Group D, and the most highly-anticipated clash of the first round is likely to be USA-Sweden.
Speaking on the draw former Super Falcons player Maureen Madu said that there was no need to panic; she added that Nigeria can go through from the group with the USA.
“The group is kind of tight but we have a chance. For me there is no need to panic.
“I think USA and Nigeria will go through because Sweden is not doing well now. I have four Swedish players in my team and two them in the national team,” said Madu who picked up a grade C European coaching license in Norway.